As of Saturday, June 2, we had 804 preregistered for the bike ride. Normally, we get 50 percent of the riders preregistered, so if that pattern held, we’d be over 1,500 at the ride. We have to think the proportions will be smaller, but you never know.
We’ve been scratching our heads trying to figure out what has caused the increase. Here are some ideas:
- We increased the late registration fee from $5 to $10, but we had the same policy last year.
- We’ve put brochures on the trail for the first time, and a lot people have been picking them up. That would point to larger local participation, which we will be able to tell by comparing addresses of registrations with previous years.
- Opening Middlebury to Shipshewana has give much higher visibility to the trail. Again, that would point to greater local participation.
- We have a billboard between Goshen and Elkhart for the first time.
- We have over 700 Facebook fans compared to 500 a year ago.
- We’ve had a color newsletter the last two issues.
- Goshen received the Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists in Sept. 2011.
- Danny Graber reminds me that this is the first year we’ve had a no-extra-cost online registration and that we’ve had many more online registrations as a result. That could be a major factor.